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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: un

August 11, 2014

WCC on Iraq

From the World Council of Churches on Iraq:

Prayers and solidarity for the churches in Northern Iraq

WCC calls for urgent action in Iraq

Letter to the UN Secretary-General on Iraq

Learn about Presbyterians at work with our sisters and brothers in Iraq

An open letter (from Lebanon) to Ban Ki-moon on behalf of Mosul's Christians

From the World Communion of Reformed Churches on Iraq:

For our brothers and sisters in Iraq

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July 30, 2014

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Today marks the first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the leader within the UN System on human trafficking issues is asking people around the world to join them by taking action.

Here’s how:UNODC Give Hope

You can also join efforts of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Human Trafficking Roundtable. The Human Trafficking Roundtable is made up from a variety of programs within the Church, all working to eliminate trafficking. You can learn more about the work that each office is doing by clicking here. From fair food, protecting children from commercial ...

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July 25, 2014

Orange Day!

By Max Hill

On July 24, 2014, the Permanent Mission of Grenada and the organization African Women for Good Governance held a conference at the UN titled “Women in Power Making a Global Difference”. The conference included statements from Ambassador Denis G. Antoine, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the UN, Ambassador Sire Conde, President of African Women for Good Governance as well as others from places of influence for women around the world.

In his opening statements, Ambassador Antoine told of the strides that women have made in Grenada, including that 33% of Grenada’s parliamentary elected officials are women ...

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October 29, 2013

Religious Freedom

Yesterday, I joined ecumenical colleagues from the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches at a special event hosted by the government of Canada looking at ways the United Nations can encourage and protect religious freedom around the world. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt spoke of the importance of looking at the human right of freedom of religion or belief in concert with all other human rights.

Dr. Bielefeldt’s latest report examines religious freedom in 25 states.  The Special Rapportuer for freedom of religion or belief issues a report to the ...

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September 25, 2013

United States Signs Arms Trade Treaty

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry Signed the Arms Trade Treaty on behalf of the United States of America.  You can read his remarks below.


 

Secretary's Remarks: Remarks at the Arms Trade Treaty Signing Ceremony

Remarks

John Kerry
Secretary of State

United Nations

New York City

September 25, 2013

Good morning, everybody. Good morning, all – Mr. Under Secretary-General and Mr. Legal Counsel, I believe. And thank you very much for the privilege of being here.

On behalf of President Obama and the United States of America, I am very pleased to have signed this treaty here today. I signed ...

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August 19, 2013

World Humanitarian Day

August 19 marks World Humanitarian Day.  Today the United Nations community joined together in celebrating and remembering the lives of those who lost theirs in humanitarian service and for those who continue to do humanitarian work.  To read a description of World Humanitarian Day, read the UN statement below.


In December 2008, the sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly decided to designate 19 August as World Humanitarian Day.

19 August is the date on which a brutal terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 killed 22 people, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

World Humanitarian Day ...

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August 9, 2013

NGO Working Group on Food & Hunger releases inaugural newsletter

 

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations joins other nongovernmental organizations with UN accreditation in work for a just and reliable world food system.  The NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger at the United Nations “recognizes that nearly a billion people in the world are hungry and a billion more suffer from malnutrition.  Therefore, we seek to pursue urgent international action to end the world food crisis. We envision a global food system that ensures a secure and equitable supply of nutritious food, that are produced in environmentally, socially and economically sustainable ways.”

As part of that work, the ...

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August 6, 2013

New US Ambassador to the United Nations

Today, Ambassador Samantha Power presented her credentials to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. 

Below is a statement made by Ambassador Power prior to presenting her credentials:

Ambassador Power: Hello everybody. I'm Samantha Power. I'm totally delighted to be here-so honored, so thrilled to have started work as the U.S. Ambassador to United Nations. As many of you know, I'm going to meet with the Secretary-General so as to present my credentials. I've worked with the Secretary-General over the last few years at the White House-worked very effectively with him-and I'm looking very much forward to ...

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August 5, 2013

UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue

Today, Onaje Crawford, one of our Field Education students from Princeton Seminary attended "UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue" at UN headquarters in New York.  Below is his blog.


Today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Envoy on Youth held “UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue”, connecting youth leaders from around the world with the United Nations to create comprehensive solutions to the challenges faced by youth and people of all ages. After a brief introduction by the envoy, Ahmad Alhindawi of Jordan, the Secretary-General gave opening remarks. Highlighting that working with youth and women are a keep ...

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June 20, 2013

Remembering Palestinian Refugees on World Refugee Day

by Onaje Crawford


To commemorate World Refugee Day, the Israel-Palestine NGO Working Group at the United Nations (IPWG) hosted "Remembering Palestinian Refugees", a photo exhibit, film review, and panel discussion highlighting the plight of 7.4 million displaced Palestinians, the largest and longest standing case of forcibly displaced persons. Doug Hostetter, IPWG’s Co-chair, who remarked that the purpose of the event was to give “voice and image to those who could not be here to speak to the circumstances for themselves”, moderated the panel.  Because of their vivid personal and professional accounts on Palestine, great insight was offered by ...

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June 20, 2013

Development and Investment in Africa

by Brendan Welsh

 

Today, Onaje and I attended the DPI/NGO forum moderated by Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division of the Department of Public Information. Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, featured speaker at the event, and the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Africa, said, “there is no peace without development, and there is no development without respect for human rights.”

Mr. Abdelaziz primarily spoke on the Millennium Development Goals, saying, “we should not sit idle between now and 2015 to wait for the post-2015 development agenda to be implemented. We have to work hard between now and then ...

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May 31, 2013

High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

by Brendan Welsh

Today, the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda met to discuss their report, and answer questions from representatives of various countries, NGOs, and various government agencies. Michael Anderson, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on the UN Development Goals began by introducing the five Transformative Shifts laid out in the report:

1. Leave no one behind

2. Sustainable Development at the Core

3. Transform Economies for Jobs and Inclusive Growth

4. Build Peace and Effective, Open, and Accountable Public Institutions

5. Forge a New Global Partnership

Anderson added that the report, “isn’t a set of legally-binding ...

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May 29, 2013

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Today is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.  We give thanks for the work all those who work for peace everywhere.  We pray for the day that peace does not need to be kept but rather prevails.

Below is a statement by US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice:


Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, On the International Day of UN Peacekeepers

U.S. Mission to the United Nations 

New York, NY

May 29, 2013

On International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the United States honors the brave men and women who serve ...

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May 16, 2013

US remarks at high-level talks on trafficking

Remarks by Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the high-level meeting on the Appraisal of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.


AS DELIVERED

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I’m pleased to join so many partners and stakeholders today to discuss progress and the path forward on our shared commitment to combat modern slavery, what we also call trafficking in persons. We’re here today because modern slavery is a crime that hurts our countries and communities. It rips families apart, undermines the rule of law, creates instability ...

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December 2, 2012

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Human Trafficking Roundtable has ways for Presbyterians to get involved in ending modern day slavery.

Below is the statement from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


Eighty-five years have passed since the entry into force of the Slavery Convention, yet this dehumanizing practice has acquired new manifestations in the 21st century.

Every day, in all regions of the world, women are trafficked, sold and locked in brothels for sexual exploitation. Little girls are forcibly married, sexually abused and used as domestic workers.  Children work in ...

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December 2, 2012

Actions for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

 Blue Heart

UN Resources:

PC(USA) Resources:

Prayer:

Prayer (Jer. 31:15-17 adapted)

A voice is heard in Ramah,

     lamentation and bitter weeping.

Rachel is weeping for her children;

     she refuses to be comforted for her children,

     because they are no more.

But God, you say to us:

Keep your voice from weeping,

     and your eyes from tears;

     for there is a reward for your work.

God, as you have promised, so we pray,

     that exiles shall come ...

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November 29, 2012

General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer State status at UN

Today, the United Nations General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer State status at UN.  The vote passed with 138 members voting in favor, 9 against, and the remaining abstaining. 

I had the unique opportunity to spend the day starting with the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and then with the UN General Assembly for the vote.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was recognized as a leader on Israel-Palestine peace and justice issues. 

Below is a story from UN News Service:


29 November 2012 – The General Assembly today voted to grant Palestine non-member observer State status ...

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October 12, 2012

No child soldiers: more steps on the journey

Red Hands from West Virginia PresbyteryAs representatives of the Member States gathered for the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, several important events took place in the effort to create a world  where children are children not soldiers:

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October 1, 2012

Presbyterian engagement at the United Nations General Assembly

Last week, New York City welcomed world leaders to the 67th United Nations General Assembly.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations was active in raising the voice of Presbyterians from here in the United States as well as those of our partners in the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

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September 25, 2012

President Obama addresses the UN General Assembly

President Obama and other world leaders are in town this week for the 67th United Nations General Assembly.  I had the opportunity to join the President and others in the opening of the General Debate this morning.  Below is President Obama's speech.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

Remarks by the President to the UN General Assembly

United Nations Headquarters

New York, New York

10:22 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentleman:  I would like to begin today by telling you about an American named Chris Stevens.

Chris ...

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September 21, 2012

The Culture of Peace

Below is a reflection on the International Day of Peace by Rochelle Rawls-Shaw, intern at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

I read on a card I picked up at the United Nations, “Everything that is needed to build a culture of peace already exists in each of us.” The UN defines a Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups, communities and nations.

The Presbyterian Book of Common worship ...

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September 6, 2012

International Day against Nuclear Tests Celebrated at the UN

Rochelle Rawls-Shaw, intern with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations attended a discussion today on the International Day against Nuclear Tests at the United Nations.  Below is her reflection on the event.

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August 30, 2012

The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded

Below is an op-ed from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.  Here, he states, "Massive military spending and new investments in modernizing nuclear weapons have left the world over-armed -- and peace under-funded."

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August 8, 2012

State Department Contributes Additional $41 Million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Below is an announcement from the U.S. Department of State announcing an increase in funding for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.


The United States is pleased to announce its third contribution this fiscal year toward the 2012 operations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  With this contribution of more than $41 million, the United States is providing to-date approximately $720 million to the organization, including more than $100 million toward emergency appeals for vulnerable populations from Syria, Sudan, and Mali.  These contributions are funded through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration ...

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August 2, 2012

Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day

 

 

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July 25, 2012

Myths and Facts: United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Visitors Center has been receiving call about the United Nations Conference on the Arms TradeTreaty.  They worked with the Office for Disarmament Affairs to provide some myths and facts about the treaty negotiations.  Their post with myths and facts is below.


We have been receiving quite a number of angry phone calls from American citizens complaining about something they call the "Small Arms Treaty," and how such treaty is an attempt, by the United Nations, to override the second amendment of their constitution: "the right to bear arms."

Our colleagues of the Office for Disarmament Affairs put ...

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June 25, 2012

Togo ratifies Convention on Cluster Munitions

On Friday, June 22, 2012, Togo became the 72nd State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.  The Convention bans all use, production, stockpile and transfer of deadly cluster munitions.  Togo was one of the first countries to sign the Convention and with Friday’s ratification, Togo has deepened that commitment.

Togo has said that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions

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June 25, 2012

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child examines the US

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child met last week with nongovernmental organizations that offered recommendations to the United States to improve its efforts to stop the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.  ECPAT-USA, a partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s human trafficking roundtable submitted an alternate report to the Committee. 

ECPAT-USA has posted a description of the process as well as the alternate report. 

To learn more about what Presbyterians are doing around the issue of human trafficking, visit the Human Trafficking Roundtable.

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June 18, 2012

New U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa

Below is a press release from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations on the new U.S. strategy towards sub-Saharan Africa.  The release links to the new policy.

 


 

USUN PRESS RELEASE #146                                                                                June 15, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the New U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, June 15, 2012


The United States and Africa face enormous opportunities and challenges in the 21st century—and thanks to President Obama’s U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, we are in a stronger position to meet ...

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June 11, 2012

Covenant Presbyterian Church holds seminar on child soldiers

By Sophie Beal

Today the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations was pleased to host Covenant Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, California for a seminar that covered the current global situation concerning the use of child soldiers in armed conflict and efforts made by the United Nations and others to stop this practice.

Participants in the Covenant Presbyterian Church seminar make red hands

To begin the day, Elodie and I asked the group members to draw a picture of a world in which children do not serve as child soldiers. The responses were wonderfully diverse and provoked a thoughtful discussion about what the lives of child soldiers might be like ...

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June 7, 2012

Message from UN Secretary General on World Oceans Day

This year’s World Oceans Day falls as the international community marks an important milestone: the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

When the Convention opened for signature on 10 December 1982, it was rightly characterized as a “constitution for the oceans.”  Forged through a process of negotiation among more than 150 States, the treaty is a living monument to international cooperation.

When it was adopted, the Convention on the Law of the Sea made treaty history. With 320 articles and 9 Annexes covering every aspect of the oceans and marine environment, the Convention sets out a delicate balance of rights and duties.

The protection of the world’s oceans and coasts is among the key goals of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will open in Rio de Janeiro in just 12 days.  The Convention is contributing to this goal through its provisions, including on the preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and the transfer of marine technology.

We must do more for our world’s oceans, which are threatened by pollution, depleted fishery resources, the impacts of climate change and the deterioration of the marine environment.  Rio+20 must mobilize the United Nations, governments and other partners to improve the management and conservation of oceans through initiatives to curb overfishing, improve protection of the marine environment and reduce ocean pollution and the impact of climate change.

There could be no more fitting way to commemorate World Oceans Day than for all countries that have not yet done so to ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Let us make 2012 another milestone year for the world’s oceans, so that we can set sail toward the future we want.

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June 6, 2012

Cooperatives and the Role of Information and Communication Technologies

Here is a blog by Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations volunteer intern Sophie Beal on Cooperatives and the Role of Information and Communication Technologies from an event she attended at the UN.


Today, Elodie and I attended the panel discussion on Cooperatives and the Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This event was held as a part of the United Nations 2012 International Year of Cooperatives.

There were three speakers who presented on the panel about the role that ICTs play in globalized cooperative business today. The first speaker was Lila Hanitra Ratsifandrihamanana of the Food and Agriculture ...

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June 6, 2012

Summer volunteers work on Red Hands

 

Sophie Beal and Elodie de Bethmann are summer volunteer interns at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.  This is their first week with us, their first blog with us, and their first time getting involved with Red Hands.  Below is the blog from Sophie and Elodie.

More photos are available on our Facebook Page.


The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations has taken on two new volunteer interns for the summer. We are both excited to have this incredible opportunity to experience the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Mission Council at the United Nations ...

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May 7, 2012

Passport to Zero: U.S. Fund for UNICEF 2012 Annual Meeting

Last week, I joined our partners from the US Fund for UNICEF for the 2012 Annual Meeting.  Partners from across the UNICEF spectrum including UNICEF field personnel, corporate donors, individual donors, and other NGOs met together in New York City because we believe in zero. 

Zero is UNICEF’s goal.  Five years ago, 25,500 children died from preventable diseases each day, today that number is 21,000.  UNICEF’s goal is to bring that number to zero.

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February 15, 2012

Security Council issues statement on Sudan

The President of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Kodjo Menan of Togo released the following statement from the Security Council yesterday:


The members of the Security Council expressed their deep and growing alarm with the rising levels of malnutrition and food insecurity in some areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan, which could reach emergency levels if not immediately addressed, and with the lack of access for international humanitarian personnel to conduct an assessment of the situation and deliver urgently needed assistance.

The members of the Security Council called upon the Government of Sudan to allow ...

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January 20, 2012

NUMBER OF PEOPLE AFFECTED BY JONGLEI VIOLENCE HAS DOUBLED: HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR SOUTH SUDAN


Below is a statement that comes from the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.


 

(Juba, 20 January 2012): United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande, confirmed today that more than 120,000 people affected by the recent violence in Jonglei State may need emergency assistance.

“The violence in Jonglei hasn’t stopped,” Ms. Grande said. “Only two weeks ago we launched a massive emergency operation to help 60,000 people. As a result of recent attacks, we now estimate that double that number will need help.”

Fighting between Lou Nuer and Murle communities escalated sharply in ...

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January 10, 2012

The earth is God's

Group touring United NationsWhat if rather than looking at the environments as a subject for study, we took the environment as a lens or a filter through which we viewed the other issues we face?

That question lies at the heart of the January Term Doctor of Ministry class that began on Monday, January 9 and will run through Friday, January 20 at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. Dr. Mark Douglas of Columbia Theological Seminary is teaching the course.

Monday, January 9 saw conversations about the United Nations and the Presbyterian Minstry at the United Nations.

On Tuesday, January 10, class ...

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January 4, 2012

UN officials speak out on violence in South Sudan

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande reported yesterday on the humanitarian crisis occurring in the Jonglei state.  The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported, “The UN is mounting a ‘massive emergency support programme’ to help thousands of people return home after inter-communal clashes between the Lou Nuer and Murle communities in South Sudan’s Jonglei state.”

OCHA reports, “In 2011, more than 1,100 people have lost their lives, and some 63,000 people have been displaced by inter-communal violence in Jonglei state. The number of people killed and displaced from ...

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November 29, 2011

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is celebrated

Today, the United Nations celebrated the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  I was struck with the importance of this day, having returned just last week from meetings with our church partners in Israel and Palestine. 

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1977.  Today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "Let us, on this International Day, reaffirm our commitment to translating ‎solidarity into positive action. The international community must help steer the situation ‎towards a historic peace agreement."

On this day of solidarity, we remember the ...

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September 21, 2011

UN General Assembly Schedule September 21, 2011

Watch live coverage of the following speeches during the UN General Assembly Debate at

Wednesday, September 21
 
The following are approximate times:

9 a.m.- Remarks by Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General
 
9:30 a.m.- Remarks by Dilma Vana Rousseff, President of Brazil. She will be the first female head of state to open the UN General Assembly in the organization's history.  
   
10 a.m. - Remarks by Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
 
Watch live coverage
 
 
Find more information on the UN General Assembly

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September 20, 2011

September 21 is International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is on Wednesday.  It is an opportunity " for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date."   It is a day devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all people.

Since its inception in 1982, Peace Day has been a marker of the progress we make toward peace. It includes millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year there are events to commemorate and celebrate this day. They may be small, private gatherings or public concerts and forums.  Use ...

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September 19, 2011

UN General Assembly Begins

The 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is underway.  Today, delegates focused their attention on non-communicable diseases.  The President of Kenya explained to the General Assembly actions being taken to address these diseases in his country.  Over the next days, other heads of state including U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive in New York to address the General Assembly. 

For more information, visit:

United Nations News Service

CNN: UN General Assembly: A Viewers Guide

UN Webcast

Stay tuned to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations Facebook and Twitter accounts for up-to-date information.

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September 19, 2011

Environment and Ecumene - A January Term D. Min. Class

Environment and Ecumene
A Doctor of Ministry Course at the United Nations, New York City
Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and Columbia Theological Seminary
January 9-20, 2012


Every two years, the Presbyterian United Nations Office and Columbia Theological Seminary partner to hold a Doctor of Ministry Course on a topic of importance for the world and faith communities. This year, we are pleased to announce that this year’s course will examine “Environment and Ecumene.” The course will be held from January 9-20, 2012 at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations in New York. Dr. Mark Douglas will ...

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September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11

 

UN Sep. 11

Ryan Smith- Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Christine Mangale- Lutheran World Federation, Joseph Donnelly- Caritas Internationalis. Photo By Alisha Rodriguez

On Friday, the President of the United Nations General Assembly welcomed distinguished guests from around the world to commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Joining the President of the General Assembly were the Deputy Secretary General as well as the US Ambassador to the United Nations.  I joined ecumenical colleagues in prayer and remembrance that day at the United Nations. 

Today,  I had the opportunity to worship with First Presbyterian Church of  Brooklyn.  Moderator of the General Assembly of ...

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September 7, 2011

Let anniversary of September 11 attacks lead to peace and healing says WCRC

World Communion of Reformed Churches
News Release
07 September 2011

Let the tenth anniversary of attacks on sites in the United States mark a time both of remembrance and of renewed commitment to peace, says a global organization of Protestant churches. The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) based in Geneva, Switzerland, is inviting its 230 member churches worldwide to join in prayers for those who lost loved ones in attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on 11 September, 2001.

The president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) Jerry Pillay ...

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September 7, 2011

A picture tells of our seminar ministries

Anne of the Presbytery of West Virginia before Givat Haviva posters

Photo by Nellie Howard.

This is one of my favorite recent pictures. It combines two important events that recently took place at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

It was taken during the seminar for the Presbyery of West Virginia and shows Ann Patterson of First Presbyterian Church of Charleston, WV.

In the background are posters created by participants in the Youth Making a Difference seminar that suggest ways to observe the International Day of Peace.

A wonderful reminder of two wonderful events! Thanks, Nellie.

Contact us to schedule a seminar for your group. Your gifts to the Presbyterian ...

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August 29, 2011

PC(USA) stated clerk issues statement on August 26 bombing of UN building in Nigeria

The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued the following statement on the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria on August 26, 2011.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, who represents the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the United Nations, will communicate Reverend Parson’s statement to the United Nations community.


The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is deeply saddened to hear of the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja, Nigeria on August 26, 2011. We pray for healing and strength for those who were injured and ...

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August 26, 2011

Prayers after attack on UN compound in Nigeria

Please hold in prayer those people who were killed and wounded in the attack on the UN compound in Nigeria.

Please pray for all in need this day.

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August 24, 2011

The United Nations, Israel and Palestine - An Overview

Since 1948 General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations have repeatedly addressed the Middle East and particularly Israel and Palestine. The Presbyterian position has consistently been to affirm the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state within secure, internationally recognized borders and the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, including the right to the establishment of a neighboring independent, sovereign state toward the end of establishing a just and durable peace. Read actions of Assemblies from 1997 to 2010.

The Presbyterian Church has been involved in mission efforts in the Middle East ...

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August 24, 2011

UN statement on Jonglei violence

Below is taken directly from Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan from the Sudan Tribune.  

 


(Juba, 24 August 2011): The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande, has expressed her concern about the impact of renewed inter-communal violence on the civilian population in Jonglei State. Clashes have left villages burned, humanitarian assets looted and hundreds injured or killed.

Following reports of violence in Pieri and surrounding areas in Uror County, a humanitarian assessment team was dispatched to the area on 22 August. The team, which was made up of UN agencies as well ...

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August 19, 2011

People helping people- a celebration of World Humanitarian Day

 

Smith- World Humanitarian Day

Photo: Joseph Donnelly, Caritas Internationalis

Today, I had the opportunity to join with UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon, Undersecretary General Valerie Amos, Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake as well as other senior United Nations officials in celebrating World Humanitarian Day at UN Headquarters in New York City.

This is the third year that the United Nations has celebrated this day, marked from the bombing of a UN building in Iraq in 2003, the annual day reminds us to be thankful for work of humanitarian workers today and those who have lost their lives serving others.

The theme for ...

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August 19, 2011

Statement on World Humanitarian Day

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on World Humanitarian Day, August 19, 2011
 
On World Humanitarian Day, we recognize the heroes who brave danger to deliver aid where it is most desperately needed. Humanitarians save lives, mitigate the cycle of chronic desperation that makes the world less safe, and embody values that Americans hold dear. The United States celebrates their hard work and calls upon all nations and parties to give them the support, protection, and access they need to relieve suffering.
 
Today in particular, we commend those who are addressing the ...

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August 16, 2011

Reflection on Youth Making a Difference seminar

 

Aram Bae, Beatrice Terino, and Gaby Verdolini at the UN

Aram Bae, Beatrice Terino, and Gaby Verdolini at the UN as part of the Youth Making a Difference Seminar

Thanks to Beatrice Terino for sharing this reflection:

I attended the UN trip as a member of the Brick Presbyterian Church. I had been told that I would meet with people from Israel who were visiting New York as a part of a program with Givat Haviva. The program was actually a photography class made up of youth from Israel – both Jews and Arabs. I had heard about the conflict between these peoples, but I did not know much about the ...

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August 15, 2011

Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Today, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt issued his interim report to the United Nations General Assembly.  

The report includes the activities of the Special Rapporteur, the role of the State in promoting interreligious communication and conclusions and recommendations from the Special Rapporteur.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations has been engaged in protecting religious freedoms within the United Nations community.

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August 11, 2011

Youth provide ideas to celebrate International Day of Peace

Participants in the Youth Making a Difference seminar (U.S. Presbyterian and Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish youth) were invited to identify ways to celebrate the International Day of Peace. They came up with some very creative ideas. One group suggested that the day include a solar eclipse so that fireworks could be seen all day long. Check out the videos of their reports:

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5

Here’s a summary:

Concerts
Music
Communities joining together
Share messages of peace through:
            Email
            Twitter
            My Space
            Facebook
            Other electronic communications
Fireworks
Ice cream
Hugs ...

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August 11, 2011

Celebrate the International Day of Peace, Group 5

A group from the Youth Making a Difference seminar shares their ideas on how to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, in partnership with Givat Haviva, hosted this interfaith, international youth event on August 1, 2011. Participating in the day long event were Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish youth who are part of Givat Haviva's Through Others' Eyes project. Presbyterian participants came from Brick Presbyterian Church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Huguenot Memorial Church (Presbyterian), and The Presbyterian Church in Westfield

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August 11, 2011

Celebrate the International Day of Peace, Group 4

A group from the Youth Making a Difference seminar shares their ideas on how to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, in partnership with Givat Haviva, hosted this interfaith, international youth event on August 1, 2011. Participating in the day long event were Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish youth who are part of Givat Haviva's Through Others' Eyes project. Presbyterian participants came from Brick Presbyterian Church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Huguenot Memorial Church (Presbyterian), and The Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

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August 11, 2011

Celebrate the International Day of Peace, Group 3

A group from the Youth Making a Difference seminar shares their ideas on how to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, in partnership with Givat Haviva, hosted this interfaith, international youth event on August 1, 2011. Participating in the day long event were Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish youth who are part of Givat Haviva's Through Others' Eyes project. Presbyterian participants came from Brick Presbyterian Church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Huguenot Memorial Church (Presbyterian), and The Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

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August 11, 2011

Celebrate the International Day of Peace, Group 2

A group from the Youth Making a Difference seminar shares their ideas on how to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, in partnership with Givat Haviva, hosted this interfaith, international youth event on August 1, 2011. Participating in the day long event were Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish youth who are part of Givat Haviva's Through Others' Eyes project. Presbyterian participants came from Brick Presbyterian Church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Huguenot Memorial Church (Presbyterian), and The Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

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August 11, 2011

Celebrate the International Day of Peace, Group 1

A group from the Youth Making a Difference seminar shares their ideas on how to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, in partnership with Givat Haviva, hosted this interfaith, international youth event on August 1, 2011. Participating in the day long event were Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish youth who are part of Givat Haviva's Through Others' Eyes project. Presbyterian participants came from Brick Presbyterian Church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Huguenot Memorial Church (Presbyterian), and The Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

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August 11, 2011

Changing the World: International Youth Day

Tune in the live Webcast to listen to all the very inspiring stories of these young girls. it's all about Changing The World, which is the theme of tomorrow's International Youth Day, show your support, join the Change Your World 2011 campaign!

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August 1, 2011

Interfaith international youth event

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, in partnership with Givat Haviva, hosted "Youth Making a Difference" an interfaith, international youth event on August 1, 2011.

Participating in the day long event were Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish youth who are part of Givat Haviva's Through Others' Eyes project. Presbyterian participants came from Brick Presbyterian Church, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Huguenot Memorial Presbyterian Church, and the Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

The 35 young people had the opportunity to meet and get to know one another. They toured the UN and heard a speaker about the UN's youth work ...

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August 1, 2011

Palestine and the United Nations

Indications are that the Palestinians plan to apply for membership in the United Nations for the State of Palestine.

The UN Security Council held its regular quarterly open debate on the Middle East on July 26, 2011. This discussion included a focus on the Israel and Palestine.

Security Council Report is an independent not-for-profit organisation that works to provide consistent, balanced, high-quality information about the activities of the United Nations Security Council and its subordinate bodies to a wide group of stakeholders and the general public. They issued a report that contains information about the July 26 Security Council meeting ...

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July 27, 2011

Numbers and the Horn of Africa

Reports from UN the Horn of Africa estimate that 10,000,000 people are experiencing a severe food crisis.

That's more people than live in New York City (not including urban area). 

That's more people than live in Wyoming, Washington D.C., Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine combined. 

Here are some ideas of how to respond: 

10 Ways You Can Help

Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Pray

Learn more

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July 25, 2011

Concern continues for Southern Kordofan

Southern Kordofan - on the border between Sudan and South Sudan - remains an area of concern. A statement issued last Friday by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, reflects on the situation in Southern Kordofan

The United States is deeply concerned about alarming and credible allegations of violence committed by Sudan Armed Forces and aligned groups in Southern Kordofan. These include acts of extreme cruelty and abuse against civilians that, if true, may constitute crimes against humanity – extra-judicial killings, house-to-house searches, abductions, arbitrary arrests, and violence motivated by differences of religion or ethnicity.

The United ...

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July 13, 2011

History in the making

 

SC Gathering

Photo: Ryan Smith

There are few times in one’s life where you can really say that you have witnessed history.  I believe today to be one such occasion for me.  

On Saturday, July 9, the world watched as South Sudan became fully independent from Sudan.  This occurred just six months after the historic referendum where over 98 percent of the population in South Sudan voted for independence.  The opportunity for the referendum was granted to the people by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, just years earlier.

Today, sitting in the chamber of the Security Council, I couldn’t help but ...

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July 8, 2011

NGO WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY: STATEMENT ON THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Below is a release from the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security:

 

The NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security is alarmed at the latest reports by its member organizations and the United Nations of mass rape and other crimes against civilians perpetrated in the Fizi area of South Kivu by troops of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  The NGO Working Group urges the Government of the DRC, the United Nations and Member States to heed the voices of Congolese women, who have repeatedly stressed that such attacks stem from the persistent ...

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July 6, 2011

North-South negotiations on Sudan

Below is a press statement from Victoria Nuland, Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson, Department of State, Washington, DC

 

The United States is encouraged by the July 4 meeting between Sudanese President Bashir and First Vice President Kiir at the Extraordinary Session of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development on Sudan in Addis Ababa. We welcome the commitment that Sudan’s leaders made to continue negotiations on outstanding issues following South Sudan’s independence on July 9. We urge the parties to set a firm deadline – no later than the end of July – for the resolution of these issues. Leaving key ...

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June 27, 2011

Support Women's Rights - Ratify CEDAW

John’s Gospel records the story of Jesus and a woman engaged in a long conversation at a well. Jesus recognized and honored her humanity as he did the humanity of all the women he encountered. Jesus consistently affirmed the dignity and worth of each person. Here is one way you can follow his example:

Participate in the campaign to call the United States Senate to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Presbyterian Women encourages Presbyterians to take part in this campaign, organized by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights ...

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June 23, 2011

Secretary General elected to new term

 

Ban Ki-MoonUN Photo/Mark Garten

On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to give Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and second five year term.  The Secretary General is chosen in a two-step process. 

 

Article 97 of the UN Charter states that, “The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”  Therefore, a Secretary General needs both the recommendation from the 15 member Security Council as well as a majority vote in the 192 member General Assembly.

This year, current Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was the only candidate under consideration, almost ensuring him ...

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June 21, 2011

Statement by Secretary Clinton on Agreement To Withdraw Forces from the Abyei Area of Sudan

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 20, 2011

Read the statement on the Department of State Web site

Earlier today, the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement signed an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which will reduce tensions in Abyei and improve the security and humanitarian situation on the ground. I spoke with leaders from both sides in Addis Ababa last week and I have had more phone discussions with Sudanese leaders since. I know these negotiations have not been easy. I commend both parties for resolving their differences peacefully after ...

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June 20, 2011

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Briefing on Sudan, June 20, 201

Below is a release from the United States Mission to the United Nations, a statement by Ambassador Rice to the Security Council on the ongoing situation in Sudan.  

 

USUN PRESS RELEASE #123

June 20, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Mr. President, we welcome the news that the parties have just signed an agreement on temporary administrative and security arrangements for Abyei and the withdrawal of Sudanese Armed Forces. We are encouraged by this news. We greatly appreciate the intensive efforts of former President Thabo Mbeki and the African Union High-level Implementation Panel over the past two weeks to assist the parties ...

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June 10, 2011

Come Holy Spirit to the people of Sudan

Come Holy Spirit, come to the people of Sudan.
Come Holy Spirit, come to break the hold of violence.
Come Holy Spirit, come to turn the people around.
Come Holy Spirit, come to draw the people together.
Come Holy Spirit, come to build unity within diversity.
Come Holy Spirit, come to lead the people in paths of peace.
Come Holy Spirit, come to guide the people to establish justice.
Come Holy Spirit, come to the people of Sudan.
Amen.

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June 7, 2011

High-Level Talks on HIV/AIDS at the UN

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice gave a statement about HIV/AIDS to the Security Council this afternoon.  She said, "Two decades of often heroic international efforts to extend the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS have significantly alleviated the health effects of the disease, but most people living with HIV still lack access to treatment. For every person who starts treatment, two more become infected."

Ambassador Rice's statement to the Security Council came as the High-Level Talks on HIV/AIDS are occurring at the United Nations. 

The 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level ...

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June 6, 2011

UN and religious freedom

The United Nations Human Rights Council and the General Assembly have encouraged the continuing efforts in all parts of the world of the Special Rapporteur [for religious freedom and belief] to examine incidents and governmental actions that are incompatible with the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and to recommend remedial measures as appropriate (Human Rights Council resolution 6/37 and General Assembly resolution 61/161).

To expedite his work, the Special Rapporteur for religious freedom and belief has developed a model questionnaire that can be ...

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May 31, 2011

Concerns for Christians in Egypt

We are again saddened to hear of religious discrimination in Egypt.  Today, we read of the burning of Coptic Churches.  We read: "I am feeling threatened, as does my community. I don't feel safe as a Christian at home,” from a 25 year old pharmacist.

Since the riots in Egypt have started, we continue to see an increase in violence against the Christian minorities throughout the country.  To read about the most recent struggles, please click here.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations continues to work with the United Nations community to promote religious freedoms around the world ...

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May 13, 2011

Pray with the people of Sudan as South Sudan prepares for independence

Prayers are always in order for the people of Sudan. Prayers are particularly in order as July 9 – the date when South Sudan becomes an independent nation draws near. Our sisters and brothers in Sudan and around the world...

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May 7, 2011

Prayers for UN staff killed in Bolivia

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations encourages all to join in prayer for four UN staff members and two others killed in a plane crash in Bolivia. We pray for family, friends, colleagues, and all who grieve at the...

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May 5, 2011

UNRWA stages its first Gaza Marathon

From the United Nations News Centre (here's a slightly different version from UNRWA): 5 May 2011 – Gaza’s first-ever marathon took place today as some 1,500 athletes defied the sweltering heat to compete in a series of running events organized...

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